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Tool to test for models that are missing support for unaligned memory access when the BIOS is in IDE mode
Technical Articles ID:   KB72826
Last Modified:  5/9/2018
Rated:


Environment

McAfee Drive Encryption (DE) 7.1.x

For details of DE 7.1.x supported environments, see KB79422.

Summary

Investigations have concluded that a number of computers either reported errors after/before the preboot authentication (PBA) stage, or stopped responding after PBA due to missing support for unaligned memory access.

Problem

Different computer models fail with different errors and symptoms. For example, during startup, you might see one of the following messages:
Fatal Error: [0xEE00000B] EPEi_system_policy (EE00000B)

Fatal Error: [0xE0020008] Error writing to disk sector (E0020008)

Fatal Error: [0xEE020002] Error writing to disk sector (EE020002)
 
HP models usually show a black screen with one of these errors and you cannot access the Windows desktop.

Lenovo models usually stop responding for approximately 45 seconds, after either canceling the PBA screen or authenticating at PBA, and then continue to start normally.

Cause

Vendor is missing support for unaligned memory access.

IMPORTANT: This issue is exposed only if the BIOS is in IDE mode. AHCI calls a different code path and avoids the problem.

Solution

To test whether the BIOS has an issue, the Product Development team has created the SMBIOS tool (OnTimeSMBIOS_MemV2.zip containing OnTimeSMBIOS_Mem.is_, which is attached to this article). This tool allows you to gather data from the BIOS and test if it supports Aligned and Unaligned memory access.

The extension has been renamed to (.is_), so that firewalls will not block the attached ISO within the ZIP archive. After extracting the 'OnTimeSMBIOS_Mem.is_' file, rename the extension to 'OnTimeSMBIOS_Mem.iso'.


NOTE: If you see an error (e0020008), take a picture of the screen and create a Service Request so an exception for that computer can be hard coded within the PBA code.

The following image shows the output of this new tool:



The SMBIOS tool includes the following output details required by the Product Engineering team:
  • BIOS vendor
  • BIOS version
  • BIOS release date
  • BIOS sys release
  • BIOS firmware version
  • System manufacturer
  • System product name
  • System version
  • System serial no
  • System baseboard manufacturer
  • System baseboard product name
  • System baseboard version
  • System baseboard serial no
To contact Technical Support, log on to the ServicePortal and go to the Create a Service Request page at https://support.mcafee.com/ServicePortal/faces/serviceRequests/createSR:
  • If you are a registered user, type your User Id and Password, and then click Log In.
  • If you are not a registered user, click Register and complete the required fields. Your password and logon instructions will be emailed to you.

Solution

For the models listed below the issue is resolved in the following ways:
  • A BIOS update
  • A workaround implemented in a DE patch or hotfix. 
The models listed in the table below are resolved by either:
  • Installing the listed BIOS update.
  • Installing DE 7.1.x for systems where no BIOS update was provided.
Make/Model Reference Issue
BIOS Version
Resolved
BIOS version
ACER Travelmate 5742 683508 - -
       
Dell Latitude E5x20 series
- A01 A02
Dell Vostro 1450 755860 A04  -
       
FUJITSU FMVLUG90B4 765563 - -
       
HP EliteBook 2560p 711176 F.06 (28/07/11) -
HP EliteBook 8460p 683508 F.01 (03/11/11) F.20
HP EliteBook 8560p - n/a -
HP EliteBook 2760P 726531 F.02 (07/26/11) F.20
       
HP Folio 13-1005TU 753795 -
       
HP ProBook 4230s 683508 F.08 (03/05/11) -
HP ProBook 4530s 683508 F.07 (21/04/11) n/a
HP ProBook 6360b - - F.20
HP ProBook 6460b - - F.20
HP ProBook 6460p 726550
714993
F.08 (08/26/11) F.20
HP ProBook 6560b - F.07 F.20
HP ProBook 6560p 714993 - -
HP ProBook 6465b - F.07 F.20
       
HP Compaq 8200 Elite SFF PC 699440 - -
       
Lenovo ThinkPad T420 689111 - -
Lenovo ThinkPad T520 718394 - -
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 689111 - -
       
NEC PC-VY18VSA78 762532 - -
       
Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 - - -
Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 - - -
Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 778184 - -
Panasonic Toughbook CF-J10 773572 - -
Panasonic Toughbook CF-N10 765024
773572
- -
Panasonic Toughbook CF-NX1 772162
773572
- -

Attachment

OnTimeSMBIOS_MemV2.zip
170K • < 1 minute @ broadband


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